Good Friends: Simplicity

True friends know, accept, love, serve, and celebrate one another.
-Bill Hybles

True Friends

There is nothing quite like spending time and doing life alongside true friends. It is fun. It is rewarding. It is fulfilling. It is truly a blessing. But more, in Bill Hybles opinion it leads to a simple life. King Solomon gives this advice in Proverbs 13:20

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

People influence your life. People rub off. Bill Hybles suggest in his devotional simplify that your friends are a large factor to living a simple life. Have you ever been around someone who always seems to have a negative outlook? They seem to bring with them a cloud of drama wherever they go. I am a big proponent of positive thinking. Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Seek out friends who display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hang out with them. Your life will get much simpler.

Are you a true friend? Are you taking the time to get to know people and focusing on how you can help them? Are you a positive person who brings good to others? In my estimation often the very best way to find a true friend or an awesome mate or a great business partner is to work hard on becoming one. Look to yourself and get to work, if you are anything like me you will find plenty to work on.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

 

Getting In

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
-C.S. Lewis

friendship in business

In business the desire for strategic partnerships often arises when trying to accomplish. As an entrepreneur I have found myself doing what I suppose many entrepreneurs do from time to time: dreaming about a future in which we have partnered with another who is already serving the masses. Dinner with the king and so on. But how does one broach the matter with the great? The bible gives Christian business people an understanding on exactly how this works. Let us have a look.

 First things first the bible shows us what the dynamics of the situation are in Proverbs 19:6a

 Many will entreat the favor of the prince…

 Entreat. Ask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something. So we know that the great are approached earnestly and or anxiously by many. What is an earnest approach like to the great? I am assuming it is not like getting a call from your cable provider on the benefits of latest bundle. It is more likely, I think, that these are more like the I have a dream speech. It is quite reasonable, I believe, to assume that the solicitors care deeply about the matter, that they have thought deeply about it for some time, perhaps even sacrificed to bring it to its current state for years. How are we to stand out?

Anxiously. In this context, I take this to mean that the solicitors’ sense of desire is great. Perhaps to the point of causing the solicited to be a bit put back, startled or even uneasy. When we think about it the two are in very different positions. One has just heard of this idea, proposition, or even this person; just now. The other is quite the opposite. This passion and sense of urgency and desire on the matter seems only separate them further.

The verse goes on to say:

Many will entreat the favor of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.

So what is this mention of gifts doing here then? Interesting. Another verse in Proverbs mentions gifts and the great and even speaks to the topic of broaching the divide between ourselves and them. Proverbs 18:16 reads:

A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

 So the bible is telling us that a gift will help us get our in so to speak. But what sort of gift is this? A new car? A fruit cake?

Gifts. The very best sort are focused on the other. Giving a gift that you like is one thing; I enjoyed this so I thought you might to. But then again your mother may not like so and so as much as you. But let us suppose this Mothers Day you found out a bit about where your mother would like to be and gave her a gift that helped her get there. In business this, I think, is of the very best sort. Not so easy of course, but all the same the best I think.

I have come to believe that these great business people are great because of their being focused on those they are serving. Again this speaks to how difficult it can be to present an idea to them. They are likely consumed with executing their specific plan for serving their customers and there may not be room for a new idea that is yours. It is highly probable that they have a plan and that you can learn about it. Perhaps the gift you bring could establish your friendship by coming alongside them in their journey of service. How much better if it was on their terms and not yours. If you were focused on joining them on their journey not inserting yours and trying to make it fit. Focused on them. The question, I believe, then becomes: how can you give a gift that helps them with their plan of helping their customers?

-A takeaway from an internrocket.com shareholder meeting

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

The Law of Influence

And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek you.

-King David

Incoming Train
I stand at uptown station the other day giving a tour of our beautiful town of Normal, IL.  Highlighting our newly installed high speed rail we imagine the possibilities. What value could come along the rail. Anticipation exists mainly because we can not experience at the present. The town has yet to see it’s first high speed rail car.  Still the high speed rail installed lie trustworthy – waiting to accept the high speed cars. One thing before the next or first things first as it were. Trust proceeds value.

The rail a medium of exchange for value. Trust is the foundation upon which the medium is built. The more trustworthy the more value can be exchanged.

Let us pretend each of our relationships a rail. How trustworthy the rail? The more trust present, the more the other presents their needs and desires uninhibited. The more we know others desires the more opportunity to serve. The more we serve the more influence we have to improve the world we share.

Trust. Who better to trust than one who wishes you well over self? For both to gain is an admirable interest.  For them to gain at your loss and in their will presents grounds for trust indeed. Trust comes from interests. ‘Having your best interests at heart’ is a term we use. One who acts in your interest never mind theirs is one we trust. Put others first consistently over time and trust will follow. Trust with it brings opportunities to serve and influence.

The Law of Influence:

Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

-A takeaway from The Go Giver by Mann and Burg

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Extend the Network of Your Connectedness to Many People

God wants you to love other people.  You do so through service.  And He rewards you for it.  

-Rabbi Daniel Lapin

big tree root

 Rabbi Lapin explains that the Jewish word for love is, Ahav, which literally means: to give.  God wants us to love people by serving them and He rewards us for it.  So what does this have to do with networking?  Networking is meeting and learning how to serve people.

When I was going through my undergraduate studies networking fell into the bucket of ‘so overused it was beginning to lose its meaning’.  Or at least that was the case for me.  It seemed like it was in every top ten list to being the next king of the moon or whatever equally capable success article I was reading.  Luckily, one of my entrepreneurship professors cleared it up for me.  Dr. Noel told our class that networking is connecting with someone else so that you know what value they bring to the market and they know what value you bring.  In other words, you know how to help them and they know how to help you.

Once I had this understanding of networking, the advice I kept reading in business articles to ‘work your network’ finally made sense.  Help people.  Zig Ziglar says “You can get whatever you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”  I think he is right.

In his book, Thou Shall Prosper, Rabbi Lapin says that reward will follow in proportion to the lack of self interest we project while forming relationships.  In other words, are you here to help me get what I want or to have me help you get what you want?  One of those is a lot more attractive.  I will let you decide which one is which.

A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.